May 9, 2012
NHL notes: Preds being vindictive, KHL pres says
By QMI AGENCY
Alexander Radulov's suspension was not for partying and breaking curfew but for his refusal to sign a long-term contract with the Nasville Predators, the president of the KHL charges.
"The story with Radulov breaking team rules is Nashville's payback to him for not signing in Nashville long term," league president Alexander Medvedev reportedly said, via a translation Wednesday by Dimitry Chesnokov of Yahoo.
Radulov and Andrei Kostitsyn were suspended for Game 3 of the series between the Predators and Phoenix Coyotes after they were out carousing after curfew before Game 2.
The two forwards also sat out Game 4 after Nashville won the third game of the Western Conference semifinal.
Radulov starred for three seasons in the KHL after bolting Nashville in 2008 with one year left on his contract with the Preds. He returned to Nashville for the final nine games of the 2011-12 season, plus the playoffs, to fulfil his contract obligations.
Radulov hasn't said whether he will return to the KHL next season or sign a free-agent deal with an NHL team.
HURTS SO GOOD
Blues defenceman Alex Pietrangelo admitted the knee injury he suffered in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinal against the L.A. Kings was worse than he let on.
"I could feel something wrong," Pietrangelo told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, adding that his knee was badly sprained. "I went off (the ice) and they re-evaluated it and realized there was more of an issue than I originally thought. But we did a pretty good job working on it the next couple of days and I got back to pretty good health."
Pietrangelo was hurt when he was hit by Kings forward Dwight King but missed just one game in the series. He wasn't as strong after returning to the lineup, which may have been a result of his knee trouble.
"Playing at this time of year, my attitude is if you're in, you're in," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. "Now you might be in at 60% or 70%, like a guy like Petro was, but you're still in the lineup. I've always felt that with certain players, 70% of the player is better than anybody you could put in. I think we proved that with Petro."
KOIVU COMES BACK
Centre Saku Koivu will be quacking with the Ducks for another year.
Koivu, 37, signed a one-year contract extension worth a reported $3 million with the Ducks Wednesday, ensuring he'll be back in Anaheim next season. The former Canadiens' captain was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
In 74 games with the Ducks this season, Koivu had 11 goals and 27 assists. He played the 1,000th game of his career in March.
PREDS KEEP PLAYING
Five Nashville Predators will extend their season at the world championships.
Brothers Andrei and Sergei Kostitsyn will join the Belarus team at the worlds and are expected to be in the lineup Saturday against Slovakia.
Martin Erat will play for the Czech Republic, Roman Josi will join Switzerland and Craig Smith has been added to the U.S. roster.
The Russian Hockey Federation confirmed Wednesday that Predators forward Alexander Radulov won't play in the world championship due to a knee injury.